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Old 3rd January 2017, 23:35   #31
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Originally Posted by island View Post
you're not using less of the service, you're using a different service.
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Originally Posted by snail View Post
There is space because the fare to Wigan and Preston is high enough to cause some travellers to travel off peak.
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Originally Posted by Goatboy View Post
a Pendolino full of people on cheap fares to Lancaster blocks seating for people on expensive fares to Preston.
Of course the OP isn't using "a different service", at least if they are using a walk-up ticket with no seat reservation. They are making a different journey, on the same service.

Non-stop trains between London and Warrington (and vice versa) are by far the most frequent VTWC services to be standing room only. This is not surprising when, on "peak" trains running to/from Glasgow, perhaps half of those on board are travelling on off-peak tickets.

The London to Holyhead route similarly has (virtually) no evening peak restrictions for stations west of Chester, but at least these service are formed of double-Voyagers and, even when the front unit is standing room only (as is usually the case), the rear unit which terminates at Chester has a good number of seats available for passengers travelling to Chester, who pay over triple the price of an equivalent walk-up passenger to Flint. VTWC don't do a good enough job of forcing passengers with off-peak tickets from London to North Wales to occupy the front unit, even if they have to stand (it is merely a reflection of demand versus the capacity available), but they do a reasonable job of it.

A peak single to Preston is quadruple the price of an off-peak single to Lancaster, which means that one walk-up Preston passenger is paying the same amount as four walk-up Lancaster passengers. If Lancaster passengers really do form such a small proportion of passengers on board "peak" VTWC trains from London calling at Lancaster as is claimed (e.g. 30), why aren't Lancaster passengers charged peak fares so that, even if only 8 additional passengers now pay for a peak fare (regardless of whether they are travelling to Warrington, Wigan, Preston or Lancaster), more revenue is generated for VTWC overall and more seats are available for passengers travelling to Warrington, Wigan and Preston?

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Old 3rd January 2017, 23:39   #32
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In my view this would be fraud.
I don't agree with that. A passenger is entitled to combine one ticket with another ticket, whether a ranger or a walk-up single, and changing from one ticket to another is not a break of journey.

The simple solution from VTWC's perspective would be to apply the same off-peak restrictions to Lancaster tickets as are applied to Preston tickets.
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Old 3rd January 2017, 23:40   #33
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I'm not going to argue with that!

(Though I fear that simplifying them properly so they aren't bonkers would have to involve one of two things: route-specific kilometric pricing, possibly exponential[1], or per-train pricing with compulsory reservations)

[1] To a fractional power, so the increase per km gets lower the further you go.
To be pedantic, what you're describing may well be somewhat sensible, but it is not 'exponential'. Exponential would be like, for every extra 20 miles you travel you double the fare. And that would be truly, utterly, bonkers!

I actually suspect a system that looks completely fair by mileage would be impossible - there are too many places where lack of direct routes, or presence of alternative routes would muck up either the consistency or the fairness of any attempted system.

For example, in an ideal world, how would you price a Brighton to Crowborough ticket? By likely actual travelled distance or by as-the-crow-flies distance to the destination? Should it be more or less expensive than a ticket from Brighton to Oxted (for which the person is on the train for a shorter distance but actually going to a destination that's considerably further away - and therefore you could argue is getting much more utility from the ticket).

Or - in an ideal world, should Horsham to Worthing be cheaper or more expensive than Horsham to Shoreham? After all, depending on your route, you could reasonably reach either destination via the other one!

There are many 'bonkers' aspects of the current ticketing system, though I'm not sure that the particular example of this thread, in which off-peaks from London are only allowed on certain trains if travelling to Lancaster or beyond is really bonkers - since there do appear to be legitimate demand-management reasons for that. (Although I can see that that must be incredibly frustrating for someone travelling to Preston).

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Old 3rd January 2017, 23:43   #34
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In my view this would be fraud.
I think it is technically within the rules but I can see it not being liked at all if it was discovered, and the purchase of the ticket could not be seen as anything other than an attempt at using a 'loophole'. It is contentious.

The Lancaster ticket is less contentious; you may have a a legitimate reason to want to go to Lancaster (e.g. to attend a meal or family gathering) before returning to Preston, and plans may change. Also there is no dispute that the combination is valid to Preston, and the fare paid is appropriate for a London to Preston journey (including a double back via Lancaster).

I could give other reasons why I'd suggest the Lancaster solution, rather than the Wigan one, but I'll just quote this post:

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Originally Posted by DaveNewcastle View Post
(I apologise now, hhf, that my persistent questioning might appear to be directed at you, or at RJ for that matter. But its not.
I am, however, looking for clarity of both the technicality of how the Regulations and Conditions are read, how the Regulations and Conditions are applied, and also clarity of the ethical application of those Regs and Conds. and how they are applied)

This is NOT a question about stopping short when travelling on an Advance ticket. This very specific question just happens to involve stopping short, but that is not the point of the question.

I don't think you need me to re-iterate the question, but just in case . . . . .
..The journey is from A via B to C. It can be done by travelling A > B or by travelling A > B > C then back again C > B.
..The passenger has an Advance A to C (on a train which stops at B), plus an Anytime from C back to B (doubling back).
..The one train travels from A via B to C and (after a pause) it (or a readily available other train) travels from C back to B
..The passenger wants to travel A to B

The question of the validity AND the ethics of alighting at 'B' is the crucial matter.
The passenger has exactly 2 opportunities to alight at 'B'. The first time, and the second time (after doubling back via 'C').
And the TOC's also have exactly 2 opportunities to consider the passenger alighting at 'B'. The first time, and the second time (after doubling back via 'C').

I fully accept that stopping short (without holding the Anytime C to B) is not within the terms of the Advance. But the very interesting implication of the passenger having bought the Anytime which would bring them back to "B" is that
a) there is no benefit to the railways of actually conveying the passenger for that unneccessary "doubling back",
b) there is no financial difference to the railways or passenger of conveying the passenger for that unneccessary "doubling back",
c) there is a potential increase of liability and costs to the railways of conveying the passenger for that unneccessary "doubling back",
d) there is a practical inconvenience to some passengers of the unneccessary "doubling back" and a benefit (perhaps to those with time to kill?) of the unneccessary "doubling back",
e) the cost to the passenger of the combination of 2 tickets may be neutral, but equally it could be much more expensive than for the simple A to B journey (We musn't assume this question has anything to do with prices).
The 2 comnbined tickets authorise the journey.

The only debate applies this very specific question:
Does the passenger alight when the train stops at the station the first time, OR, does the passenger stay on the train (incurring time, expense and liabilities for all parties) until the train returns to the same station again) the second time?

I think, if you grasp the question properly, you'll see that it is not simply a question of applying the T&Cs of an Advance ticket.
And its not just 'stopping short'.
And its not just a calculation of ticket prices (its quite possible to phrase the question with examples which would not oblige the passenger to pay more to alight at "B" without travelling on to "C" and back.
And its not just another attempt to find a 'loophole'.

Its an attempt to understand how the Regulations and Conditions are to be read and applied.
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Old 3rd January 2017, 23:48   #35
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Strong stuff! I would love to see this contested in court. I have traveled from Wigan to Preston on a valid Preston to Wigan ticket! Does the fact that I am already on the train when the service arrives at Wigan somehow invalidate the Wigan - Preston ticket?
It would still be fraud, but might be difficult for RPIs at Preston to detect.

The whole point of the thread is surely to illustrate a ticket anomaly, of which there are many. There used to be a similar anomaly on the evening peak train from Paddington to Carmarthen for journeys beyond Swansea.

The sooner that there is a move back to distance-based pricing, the better. In addition, trains should be designated as wholly off-peak or peak with respect to ticket restrictions for each segment of the trip. However, split-ticketing can often reduce the price and minimise the effect of peak fares, particularly where there are intermediate stops beyond which journeys are not subject to peak restrictions.
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Old 4th January 2017, 00:00   #36
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The sooner that there is a move back to distance-based pricing, the better. In addition, trains should be designated as wholly off-peak or peak with respect to ticket restrictions for each segment of the trip. However, split-ticketing can often reduce the price and minimise the effect of peak fares, particularly where there are intermediate stops beyond which journeys are not subject to peak restrictions.
I'm up for another distance-based pricing proposal thread

Let's not discuss it further here. Click the "New thread" icon in this section and start with:
Quote:
Originally Posted by DynamicSpirit View Post
For example, in an ideal world, how would you price a Brighton to Crowborough ticket?
Once the thread has been made, I will come up with some more questions
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Old 4th January 2017, 00:03   #37
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I think it is technically within the rules but I can see it not being liked at all if it was discovered, and the purchase of the ticket could not be seen as anything other than an attempt at using a 'loophole'. It is contentious.
They should try to eliminate the more extreme examples like the one under discussion so as not force people to consider looking for loopholes and as a consequence possibly getting into trouble for doing so!
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Old 4th January 2017, 00:10   #38
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They should try to eliminate the more extreme examples like the one under discussion so as not force people to consider looking for loopholes and as a consequence possibly getting into trouble for doing so!
No chance! However, if they were forced to do so, they would typically abolish the cheaper fares (except in Scotland, where the policy is more sensible )
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Old 4th January 2017, 00:16   #39
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I'm up for another distance-based pricing proposal thread

Let's not discuss it further here. Click the "New thread" icon in this section and start with:

Once the thread has been made, I will come up with some more questions
Here you go: New thread to discuss distance pricing and other relevant matters is here
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Old 4th January 2017, 00:21   #40
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Originally Posted by All Line Rover View Post
I don't agree with that. A passenger is entitled to combine one ticket with another ticket, whether a ranger or a walk-up single, and changing from one ticket to another is not a break of journey.

The simple solution from VTWC's perspective would be to apply the same off-peak restrictions to Lancaster tickets as are applied to Preston tickets.
They could. But then the fare-avoider's attention moves to Oxenholme or wherever. And there comes a point where those restrictions will mean you actually can't make the journey unless you leave before 3pm - you'd run out of trains otherwise - which is where my "capping" suggestion came in.
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Old 4th January 2017, 00:23   #41
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trains should be designated as wholly off-peak or peak with respect to ticket restrictions for each segment of the trip
So you have a Euston to Glasgow train that leaves Euston at the end of the peak and gets to, say, Carlisle, after 2100. Should someone wanting to travel Carlisle-Glasgow need an Anytime Single even though the train is half empty?

Therein lies the problem.
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Old 4th January 2017, 00:40   #42
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So you have a Euston to Glasgow train that leaves Euston at the end of the peak and gets to, say, Carlisle, after 2100. Should someone wanting to travel Carlisle-Glasgow need an Anytime Single even though the train is half empty?

Therein lies the problem.
I said that trains should be designated as wholly off-peak or peak with respect to ticket restrictions for each segment of the trip. For the example quoted, all journeys between Euston and Preston should be peak rate, but this would not apply to the segment Preston-Glasgow. This would ensure that all passengers boarding at Euston have to hold a ticket valid at peak times, but would not apply once the train had become emptier beyond Preston.
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Old 4th January 2017, 01:04   #43
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I said that trains should be designated as wholly off-peak or peak with respect to ticket restrictions for each segment of the trip. For the example quoted, all journeys between Euston and Preston should be peak rate, but this would not apply to the segment Preston-Glasgow. This would ensure that all passengers boarding at Euston have to hold a ticket valid at peak times, but would not apply once the train had become emptier beyond Preston.
I think that may be part of the solution. But it still leaves long distance passengers very strongly motivated to avoid peak trains leaving London, which then causes problems for the later/earlier trains they transfer too.

I suspect another part of the problem here is that peak tickets are priced ridiculously more expensive than off-peak tickets on this route. That's of course done in order to manage demand on a line for which there is insufficient capacity at the London end. I wonder if one solution would be to build a relief line - say between London and Crewe - that would provide more capacity at that end of the WCML. I know it would be very expensive, but is it possible that the Government just might be persuaded to do something like that?
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Old 4th January 2017, 01:11   #44
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I think that may be part of the solution. But it still leaves long distance passengers very strongly motivated to avoid peak trains leaving London, which then causes problems for the later/earlier trains they transfer too.

I suspect another part of the problem here is that peak tickets are priced ridiculously more expensive than off-peak tickets on this route. That's of course done in order to manage demand on a line for which there is insufficient capacity at the London end. I wonder if one solution would be to build a relief line - say between London and Crewe - that would provide more capacity at that end of the WCML. I know it would be very expensive, but is it possible that the Government just might be persuaded to do something like that?
HS2 - yes it has a case for this very reason between London and Crewe, but extensions to M/c and beyond, and the eastern leg via the East Midlands to the West Riding, are a white elephant.
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Old 4th January 2017, 02:16   #45
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I said that trains should be designated as wholly off-peak or peak with respect to ticket restrictions for each segment of the trip. For the example quoted, all journeys between Euston and Preston should be peak rate, but this would not apply to the segment Preston-Glasgow. This would ensure that all passengers boarding at Euston have to hold a ticket valid at peak times, but would not apply once the train had become emptier beyond Preston.
So, what's needed is more "split ticketing"?

And would the rail industry have to offer the cheapest split without the customer prompting?

If so, that would be great news for Trainsplit.com
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